Monday, January 26, 2009

Stella Myrtle -- Pioneer

Keep your fingers crossed that I'm not struck down by lightning for posting this! This is Craig's grandmother, Stella Myrtle. He's talked about her ability to petrify small children and dogs with her stern dirty look (the Stella Myrtle) for years, so I cracked up when I saw this black and white among the photos in his mom's apartment. She is an intimidating sight to behold. She thought Craig and his sister were extremely spoiled children. Stella Myrtle was extremely religious and thought cards, dancing, women in pants, movies, alcohol, etc... were the Devil's work. But the woman had to be a rock to raise six kids by herself during the Depression. Her husband died in 1932 in the midst of the Dirty 30's leaving her to support and raise the children on her own.

Kansas Dirt Storm -- 1935

She dictated a short story of her life to a nurse in the Kansas Soldier's Home at Fort Dodge, the old folk's home where she died in 1972. She was born in 1887 eighteen miles southwest of Dodge City on her family's homestead. She talks about her parents moving by covered wagon from Moberly, Missouri to Dodge City in 1886, blizzards where her father used a rope to get from the house to the barn, her mother hauling water for livestock and household purposes a mile and a half by sled from the nearest stream, attending school in a one-room schoolhouse, and marrying Mr. Rabourn in 1906. It's a real Little House on the Prairie story.


Steve Ballmer said...

I learn a lot here!

Vee said...

I think it's so cool that you and Craig know so much about your family history, Beck. I love reading about it - such a different experience from my family's.I don't know of any ancestors who took off in a covered wagon!

Life's a Beach! said...

Vee, Craig's dad's family (an Irish clan name)has no idea when their ancestors came to the U.S. It's like they were plopped down in Dodge City, Kansas direct from Ireland. At least his mother's side knew they traveled by covered wagon from Missouri. My grandparents on my father's side both came from backgrounds with genealogy books that detail their pre-Revolutionary landing in the U.S. My grandfather wanted me to be a big D.A.R. mover and shaker. Ha!

Steve, I'm a self-proclaimed technology idiot, so I'm very flattered! And I definitely learn a lot from your blog! :)

Moongrl722 said...

That's so cool. Stella was the original Church Lady! Love the pics and if I had to be in blizzards like that -- I hightail my covered wagon down to Mexico. Those people were much tougher than I am.

Life's a Beach! said...

Moonie, I actually thought about putting an SNL Church Lady video with it. LOL But I saw some thunderclouds on the horizon and figured I'd best not!